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Tony Grist

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Masons Of God [Feb. 10th, 2011|12:57 pm]
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I enjoyed this. I particularly liked the reconstruction of the West Front of Wells Cathedral as it was before all the paint washed off.  Has there ever been a movie set in the Middle Ages that  faithfully reflected the medieval delight in colour? 

Did we really lose 90% of our medieval sculpture at the Reformation? Who comes up with these figures anyway? When I'm out trundling round churches I'm always astonished by just how much survives.  Consider Wells: the statues on the west front are mostly still there- the only casualties having been caused- not by starchy chaps with hammers- but by wind and weather. Go into any moderately well preserved medieval church and the higher you look, the more sculpture there is to see-  Reformers and Puritans baulked at climbing ladders I think- and very sensible of them too. But, perhaps I'm in denial. It hurts to think of so much beauty being wantonly destroyed. 
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2011-02-10 03:13 pm (UTC)

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I get really upset with the BBC as they don't allow their videos to be streamed in Spain and other countries.

I can't actively think about the destruction of such beauty either.
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-10 04:10 pm (UTC)

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I guess the BBC makes a lot of money from selling these series abroad.
From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-22 12:34 am (UTC)

Viewing BBC iPlayer Abroad - MyExpatNet app

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We are in the USA were TV programmes are decimated with ads and we miss the BBC's documentaries and intellectual programmes. Only just found out about MyExpatNet which uses an UK IP address. At 5 GBP per month I feel that I am contributing to the license fee somehow.
From: (Anonymous)
2011-03-22 12:38 am (UTC)

Re: Viewing BBC iPlayer Abroad - MyExpatNet app

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We're British Expats by the way!!
[User Picture]From: cluegirl
2011-02-10 03:42 pm (UTC)

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Alas, I am disallowed from viewing. I'll take your word it's inspiring though.
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-10 04:18 pm (UTC)

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I forget these things can't be viewed outside the UK. How annoying!
[User Picture]From: ooxc
2011-02-10 04:27 pm (UTC)

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i don't know who comes up with the figures or where you saw them - but I think that the extent of the damage varies enormously , depending on the area
And, yes, we underestimate the joy in colour - but that's partly because the spectrum of colour was so different
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-10 04:58 pm (UTC)

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90% is the figure cited in the programme. I don't see how any such estimate can be more than a guess. And what counts as sculpture- do roof bosses count? Do carved capitals?

The reconstruction of Wells cathedral in its original colours is quite startling. It looks nothing like our modern idea of a medieval cathedral. The effect is gaudy, baroque, carnivalesque...
[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2011-02-10 07:40 pm (UTC)

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Thanks for the tip-off.

I think a figure of 90% is probably spot-on. What about all the rood screens and figurines that were housed inside the churches? Scotland's medieval figurines are virtually non-existent, inside and out.
[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-10 08:14 pm (UTC)

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Yes- not many rood screens left. Most of our wooden statues went on the bonfire.

But we still have loads of misericords and tomb effigies and roof bosses and gargoyles.

I concede that Scotland is a lot worse off.
[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2011-02-10 08:22 pm (UTC)

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I love misericords. They're still a novelty to me.

We've lost even our roof bosses and our capitals. And if you think of what's survived at an abbey of the size of Fountains, and compare that with what must have been there originally, it makes you want to weep.

[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-10 10:01 pm (UTC)

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And Fountains is the best preserved. That is, if you don't count the abbeys- like Gloucester- that remain in use as Anglican cathedrals.